Christmas Special: The Jessica Messenger Interview by Dean Sills
It’s almost Christmas and we have another Christmas cracker of an interview for you. Please welcome the lovely Jessica Messenger to UKHS. I know yule all going to love this one!
UKHS – Welcome Jessica. How did you get into acting?
JM – I got into acting by circumstance is really the answer. I studied dance for most of my childhood and teenage years. It’s all the eggs I put in my basket. Until I got to about 18 years old and I basically realised I wasn’t good enough to pursue it professionally. It’s at that point I starting digging around to find out what else I loved, and movies was what came to the forefront. I took a giant leap of faith and went to university to study film & television. I loved it but felt something was missing from my life that I’d always been so accustomed to and that was the performing arts. I realised that I wanted to perform, I loved movies and wanted to make them but I didn’t want to become a filmmaker. And so, the girl you see today was born!
UKHS – It was great meeting you this year at STARBURST Magazine film festival in Manchester. I know you were there representing the short film ‘Rats’ and it’s great you got to work alongside Laurence R Harvey and Nicholas Vince in this short horror flick. Can you please tell us a little about the film and as an actress why do you find horror films so appealing?
JM – Thanks Dean, it was a pleasure finally meeting you! I’d seen a lot of you online and it was long overdue. RATS is about a professor (Nicholas Vince) who goes to a castle to audit a ton of books in the library. Along the way he meets the castle Guard (Laurence Harvey) who appears a little off kilter. He isn’t there completely innocently however, since he has plotted to bring his student Jess (moi) to the castle in order to seduce her. Jess is a bit of a madam. You’ll see why. As you can imagine the castle stay isn’t all it’s cracked up to be.
I love horror films because quite honestly I was terrified of anything remotely scary as a youngster. They really did have a profound effect on me, and it wasn’t until I studied film intrinsically that I realised how truly wonderful that is. Horror has the ability to make people go through a whole range of emotion in one film. And for me, being afraid, truly afraid, is one of the strongest emotions there is.
UKHS – You play Mira in ‘Six Hot Chicks in a Warehouse.’ What can you tell us about your character and the film and how does this film compare to the other film you made with the director Simon P. Edwards?
JM – Mira is in essence everything 90s girl power you can think of. She strong minded, she’s independent and she’s one of a kind. I wanted to emulate all those 90s action / comedy / horror chicks that influenced me so much in my teen years and thus led me to want to do movies in the first place.
The film is homage to the grindhouse genre but with a truly British slant. It comes from the mind of a drama writer, so all the characters have been written in ways set apart from the horror genre status quo. While the film is given its own bizarre universe, there are elements that feel completely normal within it, which to me is exactly why is feels so odd. Simon labelled it a Neon soaked ultra-violent grindhouse movie, which I love. This film doesn’t compare at all to Beneath A Neon Tide. That was a family drama, this is leather clad chicks, brutal fight sequences and more butts than you can shake a stick at. My mother would be proud.
UKHS – I recently watched the Christmas horror flick ‘Krampus’ which I really enjoyed. Do you have a favourite Christmas horror movie or do you prefer yuletide family movies like ‘Elf’ and ‘The Polar Express’ instead?
JM – I totally prefer Christmas family comedy or dramas. I have a few firm favourites but I think Love Actually wins for me. It’s typically British humour which I find hilarious. It’s all the awkwardness of Christmas. It doesn’t have a happy ending for everybody. It makes you laugh, cry, cringe. What more could you want! And, Alan Rickman. Need I say more?
UKHS – If you could have Christmas dinner with three guests (living or dead), who would you choose and why?
JM – Interesting. I would choose Marilyn Monroe. Because who wouldn’t wish to stare at that over the family table? Secondly, Will Smith. Absolute legend, could crack a few jokes. Lastly, David Attenborough. His voice could soothe me to sleep after a huge meal and a full tummy.
UKHS – Finally, what new projects are you working on which we can all look forward to seeing you in during the new year?
JM – This year has been slower than average. Next year you’ll mainly see me promoting the hell out of Six Hot Chicks. I do have another feature due out but it’s a bit part, Dead Heading – directed by David Easton. I have a few scripts to read, and some decisions to make regarding zombies. That’s all I can really say!!
UKHS – Good luck with all those. Thank you for such an awesome interview. Merry Christmas and all the best for 2017!